Album Review: The Skints – FM

WITH their frequent lyrics of London Town and strong male/female vocals flawlessly rapping, The Skints 3rd album FM still shares the familiar ska/dub/rap upbeat vibes, which they are so easily recognizable for.

Since forming in 2005, The Skints have been described as ‘’the torch bearers of modern British reggae music’’ their latest album defiantly delivers effortless, light-hearted [but perhaps more] urban-vibes throughout the 15-track release. FM begins with an animated sounding, radio breakfast-show type intro into the album, which tells us to “keep it right here, it’s all about 103.Skints”. This somewhat sets the ambience of the album: humorous yet still compelling lyrically. These comical imaginary radio show updates continue throughout the album, which creates more of a diverse listen.

The Skints have not be shy of collaborating on FM which is something they have not done on their previous 2 albums; Part & Parcel (2013) and Live, Breathe, Build, Believe (2010). The second track into the album ‘This Town’ features British reggae vocalists Tippa Irie and Horseman, who both feature again later in the album. The Skints sound has been described as ‘music from Jamaica in a London style’, which is most apparent on this album with the numerous collaborations with London-based reggae artists as well as East London MC Rival, who features on the popular track ’Eyes in the Back of my Head’ which was the 2nd single released from the album.

Something that can’t go a-miss with all Skints albums is their political rhymes, which are subtle, yet thought provoking. Their lyrically political influence is something that is featured through each album. The track ‘Roannas song’ on their 2010 album Live, Breathe, Build, Believe holds the lyrics “I don’t’ care what you say, who you are, nothing is alright about war/ I don’t care where there’s oil, who’s your god, nothing is alright about war” These heavy political undertones continued onto their 2013 album Part & Parcel and appear on FM on various tracks. Tazer Beam (Ft Tippe Irie) particularly makes an impact with its lyrics: “Officer put away your taser and gun/ you know you’ll make a young man act wrong yeh”. These hard-hitting lyrics create an insight for London-life, however they are still accompanied by lively, jaunty melodies, which overall make the album a breezy listen with an all-round feel-good vibe.

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